Deck cleaning is important, because it improves the quality and overall appearance of the deck. Retail cleaning products are available, but they can be expensive and contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to you and your family. Instead, consider a homemade cleaning solution that will not only save money, but also protect your family from unnecessary chemical treatments.
Annual Deck Cleaning
This solution works great for a yearly cleaner, scrubbing away dirt, stains and mildew that have build up over the year. In a bucket, mix a solution of two gallons water and one-half gallon bleach. Add in one-fourth cup of liquid dish detergent, and mix the solution until soap suds form. Dip a large brush with a handle (the size of an average broom) into the solution and brush over the entire deck using firm, even strokes. This solution works well for both wood and concrete decks, because the bleach breaks up mould and mildew while the detergent breaks up dirt and built-up debris without leaving streaks. Alternately, pour the solution over small sections of the deck and scrub accordingly.
Stains and Mildew on the Deck
While a yearly cleaning will restore the deck to its original condition in most cases, stains and mildew can also occur, requiring a spot treatments between cleanings. In a spray bottle, mix a solution of two cups water and one-half cup bleach. Spray directly onto the stain and scrub away with a hard-bristled brush. This will quickly clean stained areas and keep the deck looking superb until your next annual cleaning.
Protecting the Deck
Protecting the deck is also an important aspect. Protection from water and stains can easily be achieved by applying a waterproof sealant to the deck every one to two years. This will not only protect from water that can absorb into the wood and cause rotting, but will also keep spills from absorbing into and staining the deck. Give the deck an annual cleaning, then apply one to two coats of waterproof sealant to the entire deck (found in all home improvement and hardware stores).